Funeral Flowers

People agree that your wedding should be beautiful.

We celebrate weddings with fragrant, colorful flowers that are cheerful and abundant. 

Why shouldn't your funeral or memorial service be the same? 

Flowers represent so many emotions and mark many different occassions:  Celebrations, birthdays, joy, grief, love, sickness, forgiveness, remorse, and empathy.  Loved ones pay their respect often with flowers as an expression of sympathy.

Have you ever considered what flowers you would want at your funeral? 

Probably not, but it's worth thinking about and, of course, remember to tell someone your preferences so your wishes will be honored when the time comes.

The idea or association of flowers and funerals is centuries old.  Archeaologists have found impressions of flowers and stems at ancient graves.  Folklore tells us that  in 1874, at the burial of President Andrew Johnson, flowers were used to cover and mask the conditions and odor of his body!

Have you heard the expression "In Lieu of Flowers"? 

While flowers can be a comfort to the living and assist in making the send off of a loved one commemorative and beautiful, the phrase encourages gifts be made to charities that the deceased was passionate about or associated with, instead of sending flowers.

Flowers, however, are a sentimental favorite and a significant means of expressing sympathy without using words.  Flowers are also  a traditional way to show respect for the bereaved as well as for the loved one who has died. 

Chrysanthemums, roses, carnations, and lilies are popular funeral flowers...but what if you like tulips or daisies? 

Recently, an aquaintance died after a long battle with cancer.

He was a sailor.

A dear friend of his wrote a personal "farewell" to his sailing buddy in his blog.  Vladimir Kagan's post is a lovely tribute to the life and spirit of a man who loved to be on the water with a stiff breeze at his back, joined by family and friends, and pushing his boat steadily along.

A traditional sailor's farewell is memorialized by a floating bouquet of flowers, like the one shown here, tossed into the water, commemorating the passing of someone who loved being on the ocean.

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Burials at sea are regularly performed by the United States Navy as well as private citizens.  There are certain regulations, as you can imagine, in this service. New England Burials at Sea LLC gives a complete list of these services offered.  If you love the ocean, this might be just the right way to go!      

I happen to think that hydrangeas are beautiful choice for a wedding, for a funeral, or for a traditional sailor's farewell.

What funeral flowers would you choose and why?

Please share with me your comments below.  Remember to take time in your busy lives to stop and smell the flowers!